You are on page 1of 6


Submitted to fulfill assignment on Pragmatics

Arranged by:
Mutma Ayunita (157835442)
Class of P2TK


Study of language means study what are the rules of language, how

the language is used, how the language is processed, how the language is
In this paper, the writer will explain about the one of material which
studies in pragmatics. There are some definitions of pragmatics as pragmatics
is the study of the meaning according the context, pragmatics also can be
defined the study of how the meaning of sentence (or other linguistics unit)
changes depending on how and where it is expressed, or of the structural
ambiguity in language.
There are some materials in pragmatics such us, deixis and distance,
reference and in reference, presupposition and entailment, cooperation and
implicative, speech acts and events, politeness and interaction, discourse and
culture, and conversation and analysis. But in this paper, the writer will explain
about deixis and distance only as the object explaining.


1. The Meaning of Deixis

Deixis term is formed from Greeks words which mean pointing or
referring. According to Yule (1996), deixis is a technical term (from Greek)
for one of the most basic things we do with utterance.
Based on that argument, it can be conclude that deixis is semantics
indication which is in words or the contractions which its references can be
explained by the situation of the speaker. Clearly, deixis is pragmatics
initiative to understand semantics meaning.
The kinds of deictic words are I, we, you, they, this, that, here, and
there. The meaning of these deictic expressions depend the interpretation of
the speaker and hearer or addresser.
Generally, we can say that deixis expression is the part which
references in the utterances which correlates with the situation of context,
expression in advance, indication, etc.

2. The Kinds of Deixis

Person deixis, spatial deixis, and temporal deixis, they are kinds of
deixis in pragmatics.
a) Person deixis
Person deixis indicates the role of the participants in the conversation
such as, speaker, hearer, and the other entities. To learn this deictic
expression discovers that each person in the conversation shifts from being I
to being you constantly.
Person deixis is determined by the role of the participants in the
conversation. The participant role can be divided in three parts, the first
person, the second person, and the third person.
The first person is the speaker references category to him or herself or the
group which involve him or herself; the words are I and we.
The second person is the speaker references category to hearer or the other
person which is together with the first speaker; the word is you.
The third person is the speaker references category to who is not the speaker
or hearer the utterance, neither present or not; the words are she, he,
they, and it.

Communicating distance in the person deixis

There is the communicating distance happens in the person deixis

person especially in third person. In deictic terms, third person is not a direct
participant in basic (I-you) interaction. It is being an outsider. Third person
pronouns are consequently distal forms in term of person deixis.
Using a third person form, where a second person form would be
possible, is one way of communicating distance (and non familiarity). This can
be done in English ironic and humorous purpose as when one person, whos
very busy in the kitchen, addressee other, whos being very lazy, such us:
Would his highness like some coffee?

Exclusive and inclusive in the deictic expression we and us

In English, there is a potential ambiguity in such uses which allows two

different interpretations. There is an exclusive we (refers to speaker plus

other(s), excluding addressee) and an inclusive we (refers to speaker and

addressee included). For example in the sentence:
We have presented the material of pragmatics
From the sentence above, We have a potential ambiguity which
allows two different interpretations. If We is meant in an exclusive, it refers to
the speaker and other(s) but the addressee is excluded. But, if We is meant
in an inclusive, it refers to the speaker and the addressee.
The exclusive and the inclusive distinction may also be noted in the
difference between saying as follows:
1. Let us go (refers to the speaker and someone who has captured the
speaker, and also friends, but its not included the addresses)
2. Lets go (refers to the speaker and some friends, and also the speaker)
The utterance which include exclusive is the first sentence, and the
second sentence is included in inclusive.
b) Spatial deixis
Spatial deixis is a form gift to place according to the participants in the
conversation. The words of spatial deixis are; this, here, that, and there.
Actually, there are words of old spatial deixis such us, yonder (more distance
from speaker), hither (to this place) and thence (from that place). Now
those words are rare used.

Physically distance in spatial deixis

The word this, here, that, and there are consequently physically

distance. It can be explained by some example as follows:

This is my pen (this indicates a near distance or can be seen. Indeed, the
word this show that pen is near with speaker).
Put my pen here (here indicates a near distance or can be seen. Indeed, the
word here show that the speaker order addresser to put speakers pen near
with speaker)
That is my pen (that indicates a longer distance. Indeed, the word that
show pen is far with speaker)
Put my pen there (there indicates a longer distance. Indeed, the word there
show that the speaker order addresser to put speakers pen far with speaker).

Psychological distance
In the spatial deixis term, there is psychological distance in word

here. It will be clearer by the example as follows:

I was looking at this little puppy in a cage with such a sad look on its face. It
was like, oh, Im so unhappy here, will you set me free?
Although, who said here in this utterance is the speaker, it doesnt refer to
the speakers place. The word here refers to a little puppys place (in a
cage). It means that the word here in that utterance has psychological
c) Temporal deixis
Temporal deixis is a form gift to span of time which is meant by the
speaker in the conversation. The words of temporal deixis are; now, then,
yesterday, tomorrow, tonight, last week, next week, and this week.
The meaning of temporal deixis expressions depend on the speakers or the
hearers interpretation.
The expressions of temporal deixis are as follows:
November 22nd, 1963? I was in Scotland then. (then refers to past
Dinner at 8:30 on Saturday? Okay, Ill see you then. (then refers to
future form)
From the utterance above, the word then have a time distance. The
word then in the first sentence includes past event, and the second sentence
include in future event.
3. Deixis and Grammar
All the kinds of deixis as, person, spatial, and temporal deixis can be
used or understood in the rules to make the sentence in English language in
correct grammar. As when, we will write or utter direct or in direct sentence.
Understand meaning of deixis word is very important so that the sentence can
be formed in correct grammar. The examples are as follows:
Are you planning to be here this evening?
I asked her if she was planning to be there that evening

The first sentence is direct form, and the second sentence is indirect
sentence from the first sentence. Those sentence use deixis expressions. If
the words deixis doesnt appropriate with the rule in correct grammar, the
sentence will be wrong sentence, and make misunderstanding.

Deixis can be meant the contextual information in lexical or

grammatical which indicate something or the certain things such as, thing,
place, and time. Its words are he, here, and now. Those dexis is divided
in three terms, they are person deixis, spatial deixis, and temporal deixis.
The tense have correlations with deixis term. It can be explained as
when we say direct or indirect sentence, there are the rules of using deictic. It
means as when we will say direct sentence into indirect sentence, there are
deictic must be changed so that the sentence is correct and can be
understood well.
In conclusion, using deixis is very important to be understood so that
we dont get misunderstanding when we are getting the conversation
especially in English.


Yule, George. (1996). Pragmatigcs (First ed.). New York: Oxford University